24 Official Site

The Time:
Mondays, 8:00 PM, Fox

The Show:

Bauer is a former government agent, most recently assigned to the
now-defunct Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), which was tasked with
investigating and preventing threats to American national
security.  Doing whatever it takes to get the job done, Jack
is a dedicated and deadly instrument of justice who has saved the
country on numerous occasions, though frequently paying a high price
for his service.  Following Jack’s exploits over a full 24
hours of one day in real time, 24 is an award-winning political and action thriller that created a new format – and standard – in TV drama.

The Stars:

•  Kiefer Sutherland – Jack Bauer
•  Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian
•  Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor
•  James Morrison as Bill Buchanan
•  Annie Wersching as FBI Special Agent Renee Walker
•  Colm Feore as First Gentleman Henry Taylor
•  Bob Gunton as White House Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin
•  Jeffrey Nordling as FBI Special Agent in Charge Larry Moss
•  Rhys Coiro as FBI Special Agent Sean Hillinger
•  Janeane Garofalo as FBI Special Agent Janis Gold
•  Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida
•  Peter Wingfield as Emerson
•  Ever Carradine as Erika
•  Tony Todd as General Juma
•  Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Colonel Ike Dubaku
•  Kurtwood Smith as Senator Blaine Mayer
•  Glenn Morshower as Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce
•  Sprague Grayden as Olivia Taylor
•  Cameron Daddo as Vice President Mitchell Hayworth
•  Jon Voight as Jonas Hodges
•  Carlo Rota as Morris O’Brian
•  Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer

The Episode:3:00 AM – 4:00 AM”

Now that it’s known that Tony has played everyone – especially Jack – he’s on the run.  Jack informs Renee and the FBI that the blame is squarely on his shoulders, as he was the one that vouched for him.  Since Tony has the last remaining canister and they have little to no leads, Jack convinces the President that the only way to track him down is to pull the confiscated CTU servers out of mothballs in order to do illegal surveillance on financial records, etc.  Jack also questions Hodges, who didn’t succeed in his suicide attempt.  Meanwhile, Tony and the mystery woman who masqueraded as Hodges’ attorney regroup and consult with the shadow cabal, who give the go ahead to proceed with a bio-weapon attack.

The Lowdown:

Well there’s no doubt that Tony has not only crossed over to the dark side, he’s jumped in with both feet.  And most importantly, Jack realizes this now too.  Even as he’s trying to hang on from the effects of the bio-weapon, he’s filled with remorse over that realization.  What’s worse, he has to tell both Renee and Chloe about Tony’s duplicity. 

Meanwhile, Tony has his own issues as he reconnects with Galves after helping him make his escape from the FBI perimeter with the canister of bio-weapon.  But Galves has his own plans for the canister and this leads him to a trip to the bathroom…and a plastic breathing mask courtesy of Tony.  The mystery woman, Cara Bowden (Amy Price-Francis) later shows up.  And Tony convinces her, and she the cabal, that they have to proceed with another attack in order to further their agenda.  And they plan to frame an innocent Muslim to do their dirty work.  Kind of funny to see them essentially web conferencing a major terrorist attack.  Ah the wonders of technology…

Jack hears that Hodges is still alive and questions him, and discovers that Hodges doesn’t know the names of his accomplices, but that they’re going to go ahead with another attack.  This leads to the reintegration of the CTU servers at the FBI, which is why Chloe is brought back in.  And it turns out that Janis isn’t a big fan of the plan to use the servers to run illegal surveillance to try to find Tony.  And Jack isn’t a big fan of her complaining.  He gets his best shouting opportunity of the season at Janis’ expense and I’m pretty sure she shit herself. 

And as this is going on, Olivia Taylor isn’t willing to let Hodges off the hook, considering that he murdered hundreds, including her brother.  After not being able to convince her mother that they can’t let him walk, she oputs her own plan into motion to make him pay.

This was a bit of a downer episode since last week.  My opinion of this season has improved, but having Jack on the sidelines for so much of this latter part is a detriment I think.  The show is always better when he’s in the thick of things, running down leads, getting shot at, etc.  I’m also disappointed that once again Muslims are being brought into the mix as they are.  Took 20 hours of the season, but here we are again.  It’s different this time out in that this particular Muslim, Jibraan Al-Zarian (Omid Abtahi) is not a terrorist, but that’s how he’s going to be used by the bad guys.  The Muslim card is a crutch that the show relies upon way too much and I thought at least this season we might have made it the entire day without seeing it, but I suppose not. 

If I were an Arab / Muslim American and had been a fan of 24, I pretty much would have stopped watching years ago, because at some point, the show always goes back to them as the bad guys, or as the impetus for the bad guys, or as the pawns of the bad guys.  Sure, we’re in two major wars against Muslim extremists, but there are definitely other fields to be plowed out there.  And with the announcement that Anil Kapoor will play a prominent role next season as a Mideast leader, and that the action will be set in New York, I fear that the show will just dive headfirst back into yet another Muslim conspiracy. 

 7.7 out of 10